Embroidery

Workshops at The Stitchery Studio

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I love having people to come and stitch with me at my studio.   

I love making up the kits and preparing the linen. 

Love seeing confidence build and friendships being made. 

I love sharing inspiration and feeling inspired too by the women who join me. 

I love planning lunch, baking cakes and arranging my shelves so that my supplies look artistic and inspiring. 

Love sharing new finds and favourite makers.  

I held my very first workshop on Saturday with another yesterday.  Despite me being overly optimistic about the number of people I could comfortably seat and cater for I think it all went really well and I so enjoyed making it a happy day.  I can't wait for the next one.  Come and join me - workshop dates are always published here and I'll be releasing new dates and new patterns soon. 

If you can't join me for a workshop then on a few days a month I'll be holding social stitch groups.  These will mostly be Saturdays but I'll open on other days for those who aren't free on a weekend.  Just bring your latest project and something for your lunch and come to work with a group of like-minded people for the day.   And if you're passing and the sign says I'm open then knock on the door and have a cuppa with me. I'd love to see you.  

 My gorgeous stitched letter from my friend Penny at   The Embroidery Bird.    These are available to commission as wedding/new home gifts or any other special occasion.  Plump with fragrant lavender and stitched onto antique linen.  Heart eyes!

My gorgeous stitched letter from my friend Penny at  The Embroidery Bird.   These are available to commission as wedding/new home gifts or any other special occasion.  Plump with fragrant lavender and stitched onto antique linen.  Heart eyes!

 Gifts and cards from my lovely stitching friends.  I am so lucky to meet these people. Kindness beyond words.

Gifts and cards from my lovely stitching friends.  I am so lucky to meet these people. Kindness beyond words.

Have a great week, 

love

Nicki xx

 

 

 

Fair Season has Begun - Come and say hello!

 Our stand at Fair in the Square

Our stand at Fair in the Square

 Fresh flowers were provided by the lovely Lou at The Little Red Robin 

Fresh flowers were provided by the lovely Lou at The Little Red Robin 

 One day I will make a tabletop cover but in the meantime I am using old linen sheets.

One day I will make a tabletop cover but in the meantime I am using old linen sheets.

 A stack of notebooks with beautiful handmade paper and my 'Day at the Allotment' embroidery framed with reclaimed wood.

A stack of notebooks with beautiful handmade paper and my 'Day at the Allotment' embroidery framed with reclaimed wood.

 Pink hydrangea embroidery in handmade chippy frame.

Pink hydrangea embroidery in handmade chippy frame.

 Tiny drawers, velvet flowers, linen string and handmade paper notebooks...  A few of my favourite things.

Tiny drawers, velvet flowers, linen string and handmade paper notebooks...  A few of my favourite things.

 Blue hydrangea in handmade chippy frame.

Blue hydrangea in handmade chippy frame.

 My 'The Secret Garden' embroidery based on the logo for the Little Green Door.

My 'The Secret Garden' embroidery based on the logo for the Little Green Door.

 Labels for my handmade items, artwork by Kate at  Oyster Bridge & Co .

Labels for my handmade items, artwork by Kate at Oyster Bridge & Co.

 Our conservatory and where I can be found most days, stitching and watching the birds.

Our conservatory and where I can be found most days, stitching and watching the birds.

 The conservatory.  The old wooden box houses my painting supplies.  The patchwork cushion was a gift from my mum (it is a Tilda pattern using Tilda fabric).  She made two cushions and a matching quilt for my 40th birthday and I love them!

The conservatory.  The old wooden box houses my painting supplies.  The patchwork cushion was a gift from my mum (it is a Tilda pattern using Tilda fabric).  She made two cushions and a matching quilt for my 40th birthday and I love them!

 I keep pretty sweet company when I work.  Here she is, watching watercolour YouTube videos with me on the laptop.  

I keep pretty sweet company when I work.  Here she is, watching watercolour YouTube videos with me on the laptop.  

Brocante season has begun! It was our first fair of the year at the weekend.  We had a stand at The Country Brocante Fair in the Square in Midhurst. I had planned to launch my embroidery pieces online at the end of March but being invited to stand at the Fair in the Square changed my plans a little and I decided it would be nice to use the opportunity to display a few pieces of embroidery and see what sort of feedback I received.

In the weeks leading up to the brocante I had the most nervous tummy.  It is one thing attending an event where you have bought in items to sell but when you've made things yourself it is a whole other thing... It has become personal and I was struggling with my confidence. 

The day of the fair was bright and sunny.  The marketplace was full of gorgeous stands, all decorated with flowers and bunting.  It was beautiful.  We were in the town's Old Library which is a stunning old building and provided the perfect backdrop to our stand.  I couldn't have hoped for a better reception to my embroidery.  I had so much wonderful feedback and I feel inspired to continue.  Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by and especially those who gave me a few words of encouragement about my work, it meant such a lot to me.  I sold a few pieces and took a couple more orders but for now I am back in my workroom finishing a few stitcheries to sell at the Larmer Tree Brocante in Dorset this bank holiday Monday. 

It is my first time attending the Larmer Tree Brocante but having followed the team on instagram, I am super excited by the list of exhibitors and the prospect of a ukulele performance in the 'Singing Theatre' during the day.  It sounds wonderful! 

I am lucky to have two rooms in the house that I can use as workrooms.  I am in the conservatory today which is the room I use for painting and stitching because the natural light in here is, obviously, fantastic.  I have a sewing room at the top of the house, in the eaves, where I have a cutting table and a sewing machine.  My sewing room is a terrible mess at the moment as I have bought a few new (old) pieces of furniture and need to have a bit of a sort out in there to declutter.  I am looking forward to getting home next week and having a long overdue tidy up and organisation session but in the meantime I will enjoy watching the birds in the garden, listening to Spotify and embroidering a floral bouquet.  Hopefully see you in Dorset on Monday!

Love

Nicki xx

Happiness is.....

spring flowers and jammy dodgers

Fresh, hot, coffee.   Pink roses.  New skeins of embroidery thread.  Old, slubby, linen.  Little bowls of pastel coloured sweets.  Long chats with friends on the telephone.  Giant jammy biscuits.  Taboo on the telly.  Long walks in the winter sunshine.  A niece with glittering eyes and rosy cheeks; happy after her first day at a new school.  Catching up with family over fish, chips and mushy peas.  Thick watercolour paper and little tubes of paint.  Art class.  Bath salts and lavender oil.  Heirloom quilts.  Homemade banana bread, pots of tea and stitching with friends.  Beautiful hand-dyed yarn.  Tiny clay hearts.  Old tins filled with art supplies.  Kindle library books.  Miniature zinc buckets for collecting threads.  

*******

We are a bit out of sorts here.  Andrew has ruptured his achilles tendon which means he is in plaster and on crutches.  Minimum of 8 weeks to recover and months of physio for him.  I am responding every five minutes to requests of "could I have a glass of apple juice" and "would you mind fetching my book for me".  The poor chap can't do anything; he is thoroughly miserable and I feel so sorry for him.  Hope he heals quickly, for both our sakes! 

Love 

Nicki xOx

 

 

 

 

 

The Beehive Embroidery - Beginning

My next embroidery project is in the hoop!  I have spent the last few days pulling together some images and flicking through my vintage books for floral inspiration.  I have also pulled out the fabrics and some of the threads that I think will work with the colour palette I am using.  This piece is going to be a framed picture; an antique style wooden beehive surrounded by flowers in delicate blues, soft whites and poppy red.  I have sketched a (very rough) design just to give me something to work from in terms of sizing and placement but now that the beehive is in situ I can just randomly add flowers and grasses to where I think they look best as I work.  I prefer that my embroidery develops in this way because it means that each piece is unique.

I have cleared my diary to ensure that I have plenty of time to work on the beehive and there are a few films that I've been wanting to watch for ages (Testament of Youth, XandY and Enchanted April) so I'm going to have a really lovely week!  

I joined a restorative yoga class last Tuesday and I'm off to my second session tomorrow.  It is absolutely the most wonderful thing I have treated myself to in ages.  The venue is beautiful, the teacher is hugely inspiring and the practise is just what I need to help calm my busy mind.  The yogi, Lisa, also teaches on the use of essential oils for wellbeing and I went to a workshop on Friday evening.  It was amazing.  Such a warm and nurturing experience.  I am skeptical of the benefits these things claim to bring but also open-minded and wanted to give it a try.  I created a personal blend, with input from Lisa, specifically to help me focus and clear my mind.  I spritz myself every morning before I sit down to a ten-minute guided meditation (I like the app 'Calm' which I use on my phone) and - I am not kidding - I have been so productive every day!  I feel like I have magic fairy dust shooting through my veins, haha!  Next I think I'd like an essential oil blend to stop me eating so much chocolate..... 

Thanks for stopping by; have a great week.

Love

Nicki 

xOx

Birds, Hedgehogs and Fat Little Mice

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"We are both like Snow White, but in different ways." pondered my niece, Izzie, last week when she came to stay.  With her glossy dark hair, fair skin and rosy red lips I could guess at her own resemblance but me?  "Well, I look like Snow White and you act like her"  she offered.  Cute.  That girl knows how to charm me.  Snow White is my favourite of the Disney princesses and although I'm not keen on the idea of cleaning and cooking for a small army of dwarves, I love how she keeps that cosy cottage so pretty and cosy, with the help of bluebirds of course! 

We were re-filling my bird feeders at the time.  I am a nature nut and although we have a small garden, living in quite a rural area means that I can entice various species if I get the right food.  Unfortunately, birds do not have the best table manners (finches are the worst!) and the seeds they drop seem to be providing a continual feast for a fat little field mouse.  (I like to think there is only one; the same missy every day.  I realise the reality is not so cute...).  I need to get out there more often with my dustpan and brush.  Said fat little field mouse was in the garden yesterday afternoon.  She was driving Lizzie crazy. as she nipped between bushes, the shed and the log store.  I am torn between letting her nest in the garden and encouraging Lizzie to catch her (yep, not so Disney).  She is very fat and I absolutely do not relish the idea of a gazillion small rodents in my living quarters.  I am going to send Andrew out for a humane trap this evening.  

We've had hedgehogs every night, too.  They also drive my dog insane but hedgehogs are my favourite wild animal.  But then, as I type that, I remember bats and badgers which I also love.  Ahhhh summer.  I love it.

I have been crazy busy finishing up orders from the Summer Brocante at the end of June and the very last Cabbages & Roses overdresses will be sent out this week.  I also took a few orders for bespoke embroideries at the brocante, which I finished last week.  I will be attending the Cotswolds brocante at the end of September and the Winter brocante in Sussex at the end of November.  I'll put details on here in the events section when I get a minute but I'd love to see you there. 

I am off bird-watching with my dad this evening and really looking forward to it.  He retired earlier in the year and I've been wanting him to come with me for ages; it was him after all who I take after with my love of nature.  I have packed a pair of binoculars, a field guide and a notebook and made a quiche for us to eat when we get back.  What a lovely way to spend a summer evening, hey?

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week and that your weather is appropriately seasonal.  It is hot hot hot here and I love it.  A proper summer.

Love

Nicki 

x

PS The kitchen and dining summer sale is still going strong over in our little shop.  It will continue until the end of August so snap up a bargain quick!